Jail for man armed with a meat cleaver who assaulted woman at her Whit…

Belfast Magistrates Court.

Raymond Ford claimed a case of mistaken identity led to him confronting the victim in Whitehead, Co Antrim.

The 56-year-old, of Edward Road in the village, admitted possessing an offensive weapon in public and shared assault.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard he went to an address at Adelaide method with the knife on July 13 this year.

Ford said he had reacted after overhearing threats to put him out of the area.

But after producing the blade and asking the woman about her husband, he realised he had gone to the wrong house.

Defence counsel told the court: “In (police) interview he was very apologetic to the unintended victim.”

District estimate Amanda Henderson insisted that the case should have gone to the Crown Court, where sentencing powers are tougher.

“How this ever stayed in the Magistrates’ Court is beyond me,” she said.

“He confronted a female at her home (with a meat cleaver) and there was an assault.

“This is a very, very serious matter and towards the upper end of the jurisdiction that I have.”

Imposing eight months custody for the offences, estimate Henderson additional on a further four months from a past suspended term.

She also directed: “There will be a destruction order for the seized weapon.”

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